Weathering North Bucks

Here’s a few shots from last week. There's a bit of a theme...

Pebble Alcove  StoweThis is the Pebble Alcove in the 18th Century gardens of Stowe. It was built in about 1737 and decorated like an Italian grotto; coloured pebbles are set into the rendering. It’s very charming, and as we found on a family picnic, the alcove is practical too; it can hold quite a few people when it rains.

The Peace Pagoda with bicyclesLater that day I was at Willen in Milton Keynes, for Hiroshima Day the 6th August each year. Usually the lantern ceremony is up at the Peace Pagoda, (in the background) then the lanterns are taken down the steps and floated out on to the Lake. This year, because of the dodgy weather, the ceremony was in the temple.
I stood and waited for the lantern procession and watched the cyclists.

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Who Are Those Folk on the Green?

Dancing at Folk on the Green

It’s not widely advertised, but on one Sunday each June Horsefair Green in Stony Stratford is closed to vehicles, a stage is erected, and Folk on the Green begins.

It was the 47th Folk on the Green this year, and ten acts performed on the stage, including students from the MK Rock School. Stalls sold jewellery, beer, or tea and coffee, or you could have your face painted. There were food stalls, and an ice cream van.

Congregation members of the Stony Stratford Community Church gave out free bottles of water; their church is on Horsefair Green. Folk sat and listened, or got up to dance, or bumped into friends they hadn’t seen for a while; I did. Children ran about.

For a change, I concentrated on taking photos of the audience, not the musicians. There are some very interesting people attending this festival.

Well done to all the volunteers who took so much trouble to produce this fine event. It’s free entry, but the festival cost over £6,500 to hold this year; volunteers come round asking for donations during the day. I’m looking forward to next year’s event.

Two girls talking

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Happy Birthday to the Wanderer!

Last week the North Bucks Wanderer had its first birthday, so in celebration of this milestone, I’ve selected some of the highlights from the last twelve months. There’s a link to each post in the heading. The photos here are from the posts, but might not be the first one you'll see. Enjoy!

Ludgershall Bike Night


On the first Monday in July last year, just about every sort of bike you can imagine was parked up alongside the High Street, in the ancient village of Ludgershall. There was over a quarter mile of motorcycles, plus a huge variety of bikes parked on The Green.

There were also a few, er, non motorcycle vehicles, but they were still quite interesting. Lots of photos at the link.

This year’s bike night hasn’t been widely advertised, but as far as I can see, it will be on Monday 1st July, from 5pm to 10pm. It’s a charity event, and proceeds will be to the local Air Ambulance. Ludgershall is near Brill, not far of the A41. Just turn up.

Life on Mars in Aylesbury

Detail  Earthly Messenger statue 01

Why is there a sculpture of David Bowie in Aylesbury, under the archway of the old Corn Exchange at the bottom corner of the Market Square? you’ll want to go and see it after you’ve read this post.

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Waving to Tibet

The Tibetan flag was due to be raised at the Buddhist temple at Willen in Milton Keynes, for the sixth year in a row. It’s a protest event, because the flag can’t be raised in Chinese occupied Tibet; it’s been illegal to do so since 1959. I went to see what was happening.


It was a gloriously sunny day when I arrived at the temple, to find the shrine room full of worshippers. But I stayed outside, where the owners of Tibetan terriers had brought their dogs. They were waiting for the flag to be raised. Children ran around, and I saw them climbing the steep slope that leads to the Peace Pagoda.

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Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Aylesbury

Detail  Earthly Messenger statue 03

Why is there a sculpture of David Bowie, in Aylesbury under the archway of the old Corn Exchange at the bottom corner of the Market Square?

Not everyone knows that David Bowie had a strong connection with the Friars music club in the Market Square; the world debuts of two albums, Hunky Dory (in September 1971) and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (in January 1972) were both at Friars.

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Out of the Frying Pan…

Headscarf for Pancake Day Race

It was a Shrove Tuesday in the mid 15th Century and an Olney housewife was busy making pancakes.

She knew she had to use up her eggs, butter, and fat, as these foods had to be asbstained from during the fast of Lent, which started the next day. Pancakes were ideal for this.

Absorbed in her work, she didn’t realise how the time had flown, until she heard the bell ring calling the town to the Shriving service.

The housewife had no time to lose. She grabbed her headscarf and ran out the door, with no time to put down her frying pan or whip off her apron.

When she got to the church door the last pancake she’d made was still in the pan.

It’s said that in following years her neighbours started to race her, and it was a matter of who could get to the church first to collect a “Kiss of Peace” from the verger.

So the story goes.

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